Sikkim is one of those travel destinations where one can feel the solemn tranquility to the almighty in this magnificent north-eastern state. There is a plethora of Buddhist monasteries where one can find the devoted monks attired in red robes chanting the divine hymns while the thumping of the trumpets and drums add more fun and charm to your Sikkim tour. The panoramic landscapes of Sikkim, tucked in the lap of the magnificent Himalayas offers the natural setting that adds to the glory of the monasteries like Tashiding Monastery that has been constructed con a quaint hamlet towering between the Rangit and Rathong Rivers. Despite being reckoned as a place of peace and worship, a few of the monasteries in the state exemplify the excellence of Buddhist architecture, vibrant culture, and art.
Buddhism is a religion that has been followed by a majority of youths and if you are also one of the admirers of Buddhism then keep scrolling down the page and get to know about some of the most exciting and popular Buddhist temples in Sikkim.
01. Rumtek Monastery
One of the most popular and the largest and significant monasteries in Sikkim represents the best of the Tibetan architecture. This magnificent structure is believed to have been constructed in the 16th century by Wangchuk Dorje, the ninth Karmapa Lama. Popularly called as the Dharma Chakra Centre, Rumtek Monastery constitutes of a magnificent shrine and a monastery established for the monks. There is a belief that this architecture was constructed with a motive to spread the admiring teachings and principles of Lord Buddha throughout the world. Located almost 23 km away from Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim and is embellished by the lush green valleys and mountains and also offers the travelers with immense spiritual solace. The most striking feature of this monastery is that its architectural design is pretty much similar to Kagyu headquarters, one of the most reckoned schools for Tibet Buddhism.
Best Time To Visit: October to mid-December is the most recommended time for your visit.
Visiting Days And Time: throughout the week between 9 am and 6 pm.
02. Dubdi Monastery
Alternatively called as Yuksom Monastery, Dubdi Monastery is one of the most sought Buddhist shrines in Sikkim where travelers from far around the world flock to seek the blessings of Lord Buddha. Constructed in the year 1701 during the rule of Chogyal Namgyal, Dubdi happens to be the oldest monasteries in the state that carries immense historical significance. The word “Dubdi” has a literal meaning “the retreat” and the name justifies its glory as the destination looks immensely authentic through its impeccable hilltop location nestled amidst the thick chestnut forest. Walking along this wonderful monastery introduces you to the gorgeous garden area where you can witness several tall green trees, stoned path that leads you towards the panoramic views of the snow-peaked mountains, and the far off lush green valleys. This beautifully painted two-storied ancient stone structure houses several images of the deities, other symbols, saints, and a beautiful collection of manuscripts and texts.
Best Time To Visit: March to May is the most recommended time to plan your Sikkim tour as the weather is quite and favorable during these months.
Visiting Days And Hours: Throughout the week between 7 am 4 pm.
03. Pemayangtse Monastery
Established at the higher end of western Sikkim, Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the most renowned monasteries located in the state.The word Pemayangtse means “Perfect Sublime Lotus” and the name justifies the glory of this wonderful tourist attraction that is visited by huge number of travelers coming from different corners of the world. After covering a very small distance of only 2 km from Pelling, one reaches to this beautiful divine to unravel the prime beauty of the state. The most striking feature of this site is that you don’t only enjoy experiencing the spiritual vibes but also the enthralling beauty of the gorgeous Himalayas. This magnificent three storied building houses several statues of saints and Rinpoches including Padmasambhava. Also, there is a plenty of antique idols and scriptures kept inside the monastery and the main prayer hall of the structure is adorned with beautiful paintings. The incredibly designed and painted doors and windows enhance the beauty of this ancient Tibetan structure. Another impressive feature of this place is that the ruins of Rabdantse can also be witnessed from here.
Best Time To Visit: March to June is considered to be the most recommended time to visit this beautiful monastery.
Visiting Hours And Time: The destination is opened throughout the week for the public visit between 9am and 6 pm.
04. Enchey Monastery
The word Enchey Monastery means “The Solitary Temple”, this divine Buddhist shrine is the mystical wonderland adorned with gorgeous natural glory. The huge pine trees, the panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga Hills, and the enchanting whiff of flower-bedecked and scented meadows enhance the devotees with the feeling of living amidst the serene and blessed environment. This ancient Buddhist Temple is established 3 km to the north-east of Gangtok, the capital city. There is a very common belief that once a renowned Tantric named Lama DruptobKarbo was blessed with the superpower of flying and he flew from Maenam Hill and thought of constructing a hermitage at this wonderful location. That hermitage had now been reconstructed or renovated in the Chinese Pagoda Style during the rule of Sidkeong Tulku. At present time, this sanctimonious site is home to almost 90 monks and it pays reverence to Lord Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava, and Loki Sharia.
Best Time To Visit: Those who are keen to get acquainted with the rich cultural heritage of Buddhism can plan their trip to Sikkim in the month of September and October to witness the glory of Detor Cham, the annual festival.
Visiting Days And Time: The monastery is opened for the public visit between 9 am and 6 pm.
05. Tashiding Monastery
One of the most renowned spiritual sites in Sikkim, Tashiding Monastery has been the center of attraction since 1700s. It is believed to have been established in the 17th Century on the hilltop amidst the two beautiful rivers Rathong and Rangit. Established at a huge elevation of almost 5000 feet above the sea level, Tashiding Monastery welcomes a huge number of tourists every day but during the festive season of Bhumchhu, the destination gets flooded with the devotees. It is one of the most auspicious occasions organized there and is celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of the first day of the Tibetan calendar. This gorgeous shrine happens to be a residing place of almost 50-60 monks and is studded with fluttering flags and the holy stupas encircling this divine place and outside the monastery there is also an inscription slab.
Best Time To Visit: It is best to be discovered between the months March and June.
Visiting Days And Hours: Throughout the week between 7 am 6 pm.
06. Kartok Monastery
Tucked in the picturesque village of Yuksom, Kartok Monastery is renowned to be one of the most sought and significant monasteries in the town and the other two are NgadakChorling and Dubdi Monastery. The most striking feature of this monastery is its incredible architecture as this ancient structure flaunts its admiring red structure embedded with yellow and golden outlines and is built in Tibetan design. It is believed that this spiritual site came into existence after a lama or a monk who played a great role in the crowning ceremony of the maiden ruler of the state. Another appealing feature of this Buddhist site is that it still holds fossil charm and the glimmering lake established near it. Also, capture the mesmerizing views of the attractive mountain peaks, and the green and charming paddy fields.
Best Time To Visit: There is no fixed pea season to explore Kartok Monastery but a huge number of tourists prefer visiting the shrine between March and June.
Visiting Hours And Time: It is opened for the public visit between 7 am and 6 pm.
07. Ralang Monastery
Incomparable to other monasteries in the state, Ralang Monastery is inarguably one of those destinations that must be added in the bucket list of almost every traveler. The design of the monastery and allurement offers a welcoming feel to the travelers and it happens to be one of the best places where you get to see an extensive collection of paintings and thangkas that reflects the glory of the Buddhist art. It is believed that Ralang Monastery came into existence when the fourth Chogyal came back from his pilgrimage, the 9th Karmapa threw rice grains from Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet during the grand ceremony of Rabney. If you are fond of witnessing the cultures of traditions of Buddhism then you must participate in the auspicious occasion of Pang Lhabsol, an annual festival.
08. Phodang Monastery
Founded by the fourth king of the Kagyupa sect, Phodang Monastery and with the proper help of the supporters, the construction work of this lesser known Buddhist monastery was completed in 1740 AD. Established At a huge elevation of 4500 feet above the sea level, this divine site is quite easily accessible from Maggan in Sikkim via several road transports viz. taxis, jeeps, cars, etc. It happens to be one of the most visited monasteries in the state nowadays and on your visit to this place you will find that it is a home to almost 260 monks of the Kagyu lineage. The walls of this sacred structure are decorated with murals, beautiful paintings, and frescos in a super graceful manner that thousands of tourists get attracted to the site. Also, if you are fond of folk music and dance then do plan your Sikkim trip in the last week of October as this is the time when you will get to see the popular Chaam Dance.
Best time to visit: there are two pea seasons of exploring this Buddhist temple i.e. from March to May and then between October and December.
Visiting hours and days: throughout the week between 7 am 5 pm.
09. Lingdum Monastery
Established at a distance of 20 km from Gangtok and in the east of Sikkim, Lingdum Monastery has been one of the most sought and preferred destinations for the Bollywood film makers. Many of the Hindi movies are shot here and this makes it even more popular among the tourists. Popularly called as Ranka Monastey, Lingdum Monastery is one of the most recently constructed yet immensely popular monasteries in the state where travelers from every corner of the world flock to witness its significance and beauty. Those who are feeling depressed and want to spend some time in serene and tranquil ambiance shall come here as spending some time of solace in the company of spiritual intervention. Also, the surroundings leave the travelers spellbound and they feel extremely delighted by witnessing the dense green forested mountain areas and the unparalleled beauty of nature.
Major Attractions: Masked dance organized during the Losar- Tibetan new year, prayer wheels by the parking, Banjhkari Waterfalls, Rumtek Monastery and other nearby sightseeing places.
Best time to visit: Likewise almost every above enlisted monasteries, Lingdum Monastery is also best to explore between April and October and if possible try avoiding monsoon months. Similarly, during the winter months the region receives heavy snowfall, so it is not recommended to plan your Sikkim tour between November and March.
Visiting days and hours: Lingdum Monastery is opened for the public visit on every days of the week between 6 am and 6 pm.
The list of popular monasteries in Sikkim doesn’t end here as there are several other Buddhist shrines that you get to explore here but we thought of compiling only seven of them. If you are excited to know about a few other monasteries then do follow us and also share and like this post. We would also appreciate you if you take out a few seconds to share your thoughts and suggestions about this article and pen them down in the comment box below.